Architect (The Matrix)
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|The Matrix character|
|First appearance||The Matrix Reloaded (2003)|
|Last appearance||The Matrix Revolutions (2003)|
|Created by||The Wachowskis|
|Portrayed by||Helmut Bakaitis|
|Voiced by||Peter Renaday|
|Gender||Appeared as male|
|Title||Creator of The Matrix|
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The Architect is a fictional character in the films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He is portrayed by Helmut Bakaitis. He also makes an appearance in the MMORPG The Matrix Online.
The character first appears in The Matrix Reloaded when Neo appears to have reached "The Source" and is told the true story of why the Matrix exists. He states that he could be considered the father of the Matrix and the Oracle its mother. He also tells Neo there were predecessors who all, when encountering the Architect, were given a choice; Both Zion and The Matrix are destroyed, causing humanities extinction, or preserve the Matrix with Zion still destroyed but humanity spared and The One can start a new Zion. When Neo points out that the machines need humans for their power supply The Architect replies, "There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept." The Architect notices that Neo is focused on individual (Trinity), than humanity as whole, differing from Neo's predecessors. Before Neo departs he warns The Architect, "If I were you, I would hope that we don't meet again." The Architect simply replies, "We won't."
In The Matrix Revolutions, the Architect is only seen at the end of the film joining the Oracle, commenting that she "played a very dangerous game", referring to the Oracle's role in creating Agent Smith. Her intentions were to create Smith, who would undoubtedly grow so powerful the machines outside of the Matrix would team up with the One (Neo) in order to stop him. Earlier in the film, the Oracle noted that the Architect functions to balance the equations while she unbalances them.
Constructing the First Matrices
The Architect created the first Matrix as a utopia for the humans whose minds inhabited it. However, the human minds rejected this first attempt as a perfect world and beta 1 of the Matrix crashed. A second attempt added the varying grotesqueries of human nature and a basic cause and effect, but this beta was also a failure. The Architect turned to a more intuitive program designed to understand human nature and psychology to augment the framework of the next Matrix. This time, the power of choice was added to the programming, where humans would be allowed the power to choose, even if the person was only aware of the choice on a vague, subconscious level.
This version of the Matrix worked, except for approximately 1 percent of human minds. These humans were apparently bodily ejected from the power plant. Some of these humans survived to join Zion.
The Architect noted that the Matrix was not as perfect as he initially envisioned; the addition of 'choice' to the Matrix's programming added an unpredictable element to the Architect's equations and would eventually cause the Matrix to suffer a destructive system crash. This 'systemic anomaly' was personified within the Matrix by a semi-mythological figure that could 'break free' of the Matrix's control, and change it in whatever manner he desired. The 'One', as this figure came to be known, was subconsciously compelled to travel to the Matrix's mainframe with critical source code for its eventual reboot.
A New Matrix
Together with the human intuitive program the Oracle (which could be considered the "mother" of the Matrix as the Architect could be considered the "father") for human minds to understand, the concept of the Prophecy was formed. The intuitive program (known to the humans as the Oracle) would tell of this story to the small members of a human resistance that periodically infiltrated the Matrix, who would find the anomaly and help him to find the Architect's office, hidden deep within a fortified building. There, the Architect would use his measures of control to keep the Anomaly, and in turn both Zion and the Matrix, in check. In each of the first five cycles of the Matrix, the Anomaly, known to the humans as The One, manifested itself within the Matrix and eventually found the Architect's office.
The room has two exits, one leading to the Source and the other to the Matrix proper (constructeur as hell and heaven.) The Architect tells the One that Zion is about to be destroyed and that humanity's only chance of survival rests with the One. If the One fails to go to the Source, the system will eventually suffer a catastrophic failure that leads to the death of every human still connected to the Matrix; combined with the destruction of Zion, the entire human race will become extinct. In order to prevent this result, the One must travel to the Source, reloading the master program, and then select a small number of individuals to rebuild Zion. In each of these five cycles, the One enters the door to the Source, the Matrix is reloaded, and Zion is destroyed and subsequently reborn.
The Sixth One
On the sixth iteration, Neo, the sixth Anomaly, appears on schedule before the Architect. The Architect is surprised that this One, unlike his predecessors, is quicker of thought. This sixth Anomaly possesses the same disposition for protecting humanity as the others, but unlike the other Ones has a deep attachment to one human: a Zion resistance member named Trinity.
The Architect delivers the usual speech and threat, but he can already see that this One will not comply as his predecessors did. Neo leaves the Architect to save his love, and leaves the future of the Matrix in doubt.
The Oracle tells Neo more about the Architect at their final meeting. She says that the Architect's purpose is to balance the equation of the Matrix, while her purpose is to unbalance that equation. She also tells Neo that, as a program designed to be mathematically precise, the Architect doesn't understand the inherently unpredictable nature of choice. She tells Neo to head to the true location of the Source, the Machine City, to save not only humanity, but the Machine world as well.
After Neo sacrifices himself to stabilize the Matrix, the Machines gather Neo's body and successfully 'reboot' the Matrix. The Architect then meets the Oracle and speaks of the "dangerous game" that she played, and agrees to honor the truce that Neo brokered for his part in rebooting the Matrix.
With the new Matrix in place, a system was enacted to control the inhabitants who refused to accept it. While the Oracle was able to guide the actions of the humans who left the Matrix through prophecy, it was the Architect who programmed The One that would fulfill these prophecies. The One was made carrying not only the source code of the Matrix "Prime Program", which gave him his outstanding powers over the Matrix, but also with a profound attachment to humanity that would later motivate him to fulfill the prophecies being spread by the Oracle. Every time the free humans had grown strong enough to start threatening machine hegemony, The One would be born into the Matrix.
As the prophecies were fulfilled by The One, the machines would begin building an army to destroy Zion. Under the guidance of the Oracle, The One would find his way to the machine mainframe, also called The Source, convinced that his actions there would end the war on behalf of the humans. Because the Architect resides in a room that lies on the path to the Source, the One would invariably encounter him along the way. During this encounter, the Architect would reveal his influence over the preceding events and the reason the Matrix had been designed to allow a small percentage of its inhabitants to escape. He would then present The One with a choice, symbolized by the two doors in his office:
- He may return to the Source, at which point the Matrix source code would be reinserted into the program, allowing for the system to reboot. Zion is still destroyed and people are still trapped in the Matrix, but the One would be allowed to select seven males and sixteen females (making a total of twenty-three individuals) from the Matrix to be freed so that they could found a new Zion. The One would then die, and a prophecy of his return would be spread, continuing the cycle.
- He may refuse to cooperate and return to the Matrix in an attempt to save Zion. This would lead to a massive system crash, killing all of the inhabitants of the Matrix. Combined with the inevitable destruction of Zion, this would ultimately mean the extinction of humanity.
The machinations of the Architect and the Oracle were successful in maintaining the status quo to the point that, until Neo, all incarnations of The One had chosen to cooperate with the Machines in order to preserve humanity.
- A parody version of the character was played by George Carlin in the comedy film Scary Movie 3.
- Another parody was played by Will Ferrell in the intro to the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.
- Another parody appeared in the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", featuring a white-haired man who identifies himself as "Wall-Mart."
- Sigmund Freud
- Simulated reality
- "The Matrix Reloaded: Meaning & Interpretations". the matrix101.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Neo and The Architect". leesmovieinfo.net. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Neo and the Architect - Matrix deconstructed". matrix-deconstructed.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2013. Unknown parameter
- "Christian Symbolism in Matrix Revolutions". webpages.charter.net. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013. Unknown parameter
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